Switchback Great Wall
Hike the Great Wall above Stone Valley Village, and continue up to the top towers near the ‘switchback’ section.
If you’ve done our Stone Valley Great Wall Loop hike or camping trip you will have already done about half of this hike. But why not join this trip to continue your exploration of the Great Wall in the area?
The hiking trail
We begin with a quick stroll through Stone Valley Village, and then walk out into the fields in the valley behind the village. At the back of the fields we’ll find the dirt trail that leads up and over our first hill of the day. It's slightly steep in places, but we'll be up on top in about 30 minutes.
At the top of the hill we’ll step on to a line of much older wall – said to date back to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550–577) – that runs roughly along the ridge which is now the Beijing-Hebei border. What’s left of the that wall is a rough line of piled rocks, which makes for tricky walking in a few places. We’ve cut some side trails around the steepest parts, and from this part of the track you’ll have great views of the Ming wall and towers running along the next ridge over.
We’ll follow the Northern Qi Great Wall back to the Ming Dynasty-era wall, and then continue on the Ming wall up to the General’s Tower and farther along to a dip in the hills.
On shorter hikes we head down from this dip, but today we’re going to keep going up the wall.
The wall just past the dip is in bad condition, and there’s a tricky climb up a broken section.
The Great Wall then leads up to towers that are even higher up than the General’s Tower, and just after the highest point we’ll reach the switchback section, repaired in 2015 in a restoration project.
After taking a look at the switchback section, we’ll backtrack a little bit and then head down a long hill trail to finish the hike back at Stone Valley Village. (We’re not going to continue along the wall to finish because it takes us over on to the wrong side of the Beijing-Hebei border.)